Fashion Nightmares: Marvel Universe 2

As long as I'm resurrecting old series this week, howzabout I take a look in the old superhuman closet for What Not to Wear to a Crossover? yes, Fashion Nightmares returns, this time with our second look at Marvel's bad choices from way back in Marvel Universe Deluxe #2, January 1986 (Beast to Clea).

I've got to say, there are a couple of classic costumes in this issue, including Captain America's, Black Panther's and Beta Ray Bill's. These are pretty unimpeachable (yes, even Bill's). Of course, there are also some characters in rags, like Caliban and Callisto, and the odd Xavier's School uniform, but these have nothing to do with the character's judgment. No, a bad fashion choice is when you CHOOSE to dress like a giant chicken. Enter: Black Talon.Sure, sure, there's a definite voodoo feel coming from that look (like somebody just put needles in my little doll's eyes, actually), but that's not how you dress for voodoo. THIS is how you dress for voodoo:
Who's that voodoo sex machine to all the chicks? Brother Voodoo!

Sometimes, the whole thing makes you look like a fool:
Captain Ultra looks like he walked out of the Crayola factory this morning, but even in black and white (THANK YOU, Essential Defenders!), he's still got to explain the metal codpiece and turtleneck.

Black Tom is another character with grave problems.
He's an X-Men villain with the mutant power to shoot flames from a wooden staff (he's Irish, you see, how so very celtic). So why's he dressing like a vampire? That high, pointy collar. That stylized bat logo. Dracula's facial hair. And he's not helping matters with the stretch-fabric Vegas act shirt or the "hit me here" belt buckle.

Sometimes though, it's in how you accessorize:
The Black Crow has a perfectly serviceable American Native hero look (i.e. he dresses like he was never "civilized"), but he has to ruin it with a goggle-eyed helmet. Black Crow, not Black FLY. Another example:
Sebastian Shaw, the Hellfire Club's Black King, also dresses retro, and that would be fine except for the pretty pink bows in his muttonchops. It could be worse, of course. The have his female analogue, Selene the Black Queen, dress in S&M attire:
Proving once again that the Comics Code Authority was pure bollocks. And one last example of accessorizing gone bad:
Blacklash! Went a bit Buck Rogers on the gloves and boots, but really, it's the green plume that does it. Or undoes it. Why even dress in camo-black if you're going to advertise yourself to Iron Man from the ground that way?

The most mystifying fashion questions, however, have to do with people exchanging their perfectly good costumes for bad ones. Take the case of the Black Widow. Though slightly non-descript, her slinky black outfit is sexy in that Bond girl way.
I see nothing wrong with it whatsoever.

So why this new look?
The case could be made that this catsuit is even plainer (and gray, not black). Sure, she gains a spider-logo, but it's positioned sexually (as opposed to sexily). But most of all, it's that middle aged socialite's haircut, complete with dangling earrings, that ruins the Widow's look. More recent looks have, in fact, done away with it.
So it's without hesitation that I nominate the Natalia Romanova for Worst Makeover of the Week.


As I've been known to say before, Jack Kirby's cosmic fashions are damn near criticism-proof. They have a pure comic aesthetic that by and large read as good. But there are limits. If we look, for example, at Kirby Giants like the Celestials, why does Arishem the Judge "work", despite having a beer stein for a head?
But Ziran the Tester does not?
Short answer: Color. (Is that even Kirby's fault?) So make sure you match when you get dressed tomorrow. Everyone'll be watching.


De said...

For some reason, I find myself liking the Black Queen's costume. Not sure why.

Teebore said...

Me too, and I know exactly why ;)

googum said...

Black Talon made an appearance in Deadpool, the highlight of which was Pool (and Talon's own zombies) laughing at that costume for an entire page.

And while Blacklash's costume is terrible, it's still better than the leather fetishist gimp zipper mask, and he got killed in that one!

LiamKav said...

The artist for the Black Queen seems to be under the idea that women might actually have hips, and even some potential fat deposits in those areas. Has he not been looking at the same women all his fellow artists have apparently been using for body models?


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine